Climate change challenges ‘seriously underestimated’

Posted by Laura Grant on April 8, 2008
Posted in Green News

photograph: iStockphoto.comThe world’s foremost scientific body on climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has “seriously underestimated” the technological advances that need to be made to stabilise carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere at acceptable levels, argues a group of climate policy experts in the journal Nature.

Roger Pielke Jr, Tom Wigley and Christopher Green argue that it is “risky” to assume, as the IPCC does, that the technological advances needed to reduce future emissions will occur spontaneously.

“The world is on a development and energy path that will bring with it a surge in carbon-dioxide emissions — a surge that can only end with a transformation of global energy systems. We believe such technological transformation will take many decades to complete, even if we start taking far more aggressive action on energy technology innovation today,” they write.

Extra policy measures are needed to stimulate the innovation that will improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide intensity in energy technologies, they argue. They also suggest that the IPPC focuses on “creating the conditions for such innovations to occur”.

Read the article in Nature

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